Honors Project Summaries, 2018-2019

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Anthropology

Writer: Mira Kwiecien
Faculty Advisor: Lavanya H. Murali
Topic: Popular Culture References: Their Influence on Language and Identity
Summary:

My research examines popular culture references as they are used in daily conversation. Popular culture as I have examined it refers to anything in social media, TV, movies, books, music, etc. In this research, I use a combination of frameworks from sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and semiotics to examine the function of pop culture in a conversation and the effect it has on both the conversation itself and the speakers. My research has a few different goals. First, I posit that while pop culture can simultaneously be both mass mediated and highly individualized. Second, I posit that when pop culture references are used in conversation, they can affect the course of the conversation and influence the language used. Finally, I posit that when a speaker makes a pop culture reference, they are indexing a part of their own identity, while also attempting to establish a group identity.

 

 

Biology

Writer: Arianna Neumeyer
Faculty Advisor: Bart De Stasio
Topic: Effects of Invasive Zooplankton Bythotrephes longimanis on Aquatic Food Webs in Green Bay, Lake Michigan
Summary:

Bythotrephes longimanus, also known as the spiny water flea, is an invasive planktonic crustacean in the Great Lakes. Bythotrephes competes with fish for smaller planktonic prey. We sampled Lake Winnebago and Green Bay, WI during summer 2018 to determine population structure and dynamics of zooplankton in these important water bodies. The spiny water flea was not found in Lake Winnebago. In Green Bay Bythotrephes first appeared in low numbers in June and increased slightly between late July and early August. By early September the population declined drastically while abundance of the native zooplankter Leptodora kindtii increased. These dynamics were similar to data collected during 2016, but not from 2015 or 2017. Our data show a negative correlation between these invasive and native zooplankton species. It is hypothesized that juvenile Leptodora are being preyed upon by Bythotrephes, leading to the reciprocal population dynamics. Calculation of size structure overlap, coupled with bioenergetics modeling of consumption and production rates are being used to test this hypothesis. The results are being employed by state authorities to guide management decisions related to boat use throughout the Fox River system.

 

Biology

Writer: Ariana C. Calderon-Zavala
Faculty Advisor: Nancy Wall
Topic: Examining Lateral Line Development Through CXCL14 Modulation of CXCL12-CXCR4 Mediated Gene Expression in Danio rerio
Summary:

The lateral line is a mechanosensory system used by fish to sense the movement of water. It is evolutionarily related to the inner-ear in humans. For both organisms, the binding of the CXCL12 (SDF-1 ligand) to the CXCR4 receptor induces conformational changes needed to activate signal transduction. This signaling results in numerous cellular responses such as chemotaxis, changes in metabolism, and/or changes in gene expression. Interestingly, researchers have found that another signaling molecule, CXCL14, can also bind to the CXCR4 receptor with high affinity (Tanegashima et al., 2013). As a result, we hypothesize that CXCL14 modulates CXCL12-mediated chemotaxis, presumably acting as an allosteric regulator.
We are concerned with the allosteric relationship between CXCL14 and CXCL12 and how those relationships affect gene expression in lateral line development. In order to study this interaction, zebrafish were used as our model organism. To examine the effects of CXCL14 on CXCL12-mediated gene transcription, zebrafish embryos were microinjected with CXCL14 antisense morpholino and incubated for a period of three timepoints: 24 dpf, 36 dpf, and 48 dpf, when lateral line development occurs. Our preliminary results suggest that the absence of CXCL14 affects the gene expression of CXCL14, CXCL12, CXCR4, CXCR7, epcam, claudin, and snail1b during lateral line development, thereby suggesting the allosteric capabilities of CXCL14. Further studies will be conducted to determine the degree to which CXCL14 affects the transcription levels of these genes. In order to understand the importance of changes in gene expression, it is important to note the principles behind it.

 

Biology

Writer: Paige Stocker
Faculty Advisor: Judith Humphries
Topic: NF-κB Homologues in Biomphalaria glabrata and Their DNA Binding Activity
Summary:

 

 

Biology

Writer: Alexander W. Timpe
Faculty Advisor: Bart DeStasio
Topic: Comparison of an Electron Transport System (ETS) Enzyme-Mediated Assay and Total Respiration Rate of the Invasive Copepod Eurytemora carolleeae in Green Bay, WI, USA
Summary:

The use of aquatic resources for agriculture, trade, and recreation adds stress to water-dwelling organisms. Rapid changes in abiotic conditions such as warming due to climate change and nutrient loading from agricultural runoff and urban areas threaten to induce profound alterations to aquatic environments that may cause them to lose their functionality that is valuable to humans. As such ecosystem functionality is dependent upon interspecific community interactions, studying organisms such as plankton that form the environment’s foundation is important in order to understand the entire food web. This study of the metabolic activity of the copepod zooplankton Eurytemora carolleeae in Little Sturgeon Bay, WI, USA, analyzes the organism’s response to some of these anthropogenic perturbations – particularly nutrient loading and climate change – as a model system to illustrate how similar organisms may or may not be able to respond to a rapidly changing environment. We find that the respiration rate and enzymatic activity of Eurytemora increases with increasing temperature but reaches a thermal maximum between 22ºC and 26ºC. This has implications for the future success of this species, as the combination of warmer temperatures and the disappearance oxygenated colder-water refuges may limit Eurytemora’s success in the Green Bay system.

 

Biology

Writer: Claire Vinopal
Faculty Advisor: Kim Dickson
Topic: Identifying Angiogenin Binding Sites on Human Chromosomes
Summary:

Cancer is a disease of uncontrollable cell division. New blood vessel growth to a solid tumor facilitates the delivery of nutrients that are required for rapid cell proliferation. In humans, tumors secrete the protein angiogenin (ANG), which eventually moves into the surrounding tissues, signaling nearby blood vessels to grow. The goal of our work is to better understand how the human ANG stimulates this new blood vessel growth and expansion of the tumor itself. The specific goals of this work are twofold: first to identify positions on human chromosomes where ANG interacts with the DNA or non-coding RNA, and second to determine if ANG works with another stress-response protein, heat shock factor 1 (HSF1). We are using ChIP and RIP to characterize the molecular interactions of ANG and identify genes co-regulated by HSF1 and ANG. Future work will also be aimed at characterizing the ANG: HSF1 interaction.

 

Biology

Writer: Nabor Vázquez
Faculty Advisor: Beth DeStasio
Topic: Novel Characterization of the Role of Orthologous XAP5 in Caenorhabditis elegans
Summary:

 

 

Biology

Writer: Margot Wulfsberg
Faculty Advisor: Alyssa Hakes
Topic: An Overview of American Ginseng Through the Lens of Healing, Conservation, and Trade
Summary:

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is an herbaceous plant found in the eastern United States and Canada. Due to the high demand for ginseng roots on the Chinese market, it has been harvested at unsustainable rates. If this continues, overharvest along with other environmental factors will lead American ginseng to become extinct in the wild. American ginseng became popular due to its similarities with Asian ginseng, (Panax ginseng), a related plant that has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Since there is so little Asian ginseng left in the wild, American ginseng now helps satisfy the demand for wild roots. Due to differences in appearance, wild ginseng roots are highly prized over cultivated ginseng. Despite the establishment of the cultivated ginseng industry, the demand for wild roots remains high. As China’s middle and upper class grow, the demand for these expensive roots increases even more. Meanwhile, the poor economy of the Appalachian region leads people to harvest ginseng, legally or illegally, as a second source of income. Encouraging the use of wild-simulated ginseng may be one way to reduce the rate of harvest of wild roots.

 

East Asian Studies

Writer: Margot Wulfsberg
Faculty Advisor: Brigid Vance
Topic: An Overview of American Ginseng Through the Lens of Healing, Conservation, and Trade
Summary:

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is an herbaceous plant found in the eastern United States and Canada. Due to the high demand for ginseng roots on the Chinese market, it has been harvested at unsustainable rates. If this continues, overharvest along with other environmental factors will lead American ginseng to become extinct in the wild. American ginseng became popular due to its similarities with Asian ginseng, (Panax ginseng), a related plant that has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Since there is so little Asian ginseng left in the wild, American ginseng now helps satisfy the demand for wild roots. Due to differences in appearance, wild ginseng roots are highly prized over cultivated ginseng. Despite the establishment of the cultivated ginseng industry, the demand for wild roots remains high. As China’s middle and upper class grow, the demand for these expensive roots increases even more. Meanwhile, the poor economy of the Appalachian region leads people to harvest ginseng, legally or illegally, as a second source of income. Encouraging the use of wild-simulated ginseng may be one way to reduce the rate of harvest of wild roots.

 

English

Writer: Arthur (Jake) Moore
Faculty Advisor: Timothy Spurgin
Topic: The Maternal Body in Joyce's Ulysses: Affirmations of Rebellion
Summary:

This paper provides a feminist criticism of Ulysses in an attempt to understand the relevance of Joyce and this novel today, as academia is experiencing a welcome pressure to move away from the study of ‘old white men.’ The interest of this paper, then, is an interest in the bodies of Ulysses. While once these bodies challenged the common discourse because they were ruled obscene, the bodies of the text continue to challenge both critics and a male literary tradition. As Joyce said about Ulysses, “my book is the epic of the human body” (184). Ulysses itself can be read as a body, and a body that is an ‘other’ to literary convention. The value of Ulysses in this context is in Molly, “Joyce’s female voice.” On all levels except, perhaps, express authorial intent, Ulysses is and revolves around the subversive, maternal body. And Molly, the subversive and embodied mother that she is, may be the final voice of this text in a way that Joyce himself is not.

 

English

Writer: Katherine Stein
Faculty Advisor: Celia Barnes
Topic: A Revolution in Gothic Manners
Summary:

In this study, I assert that prior to the French Revolution, early eighteenth-century Gothic works such as Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Clara Reeve’s The Old English Baron attempt to understand the potential consequences revolution could have on British society and that both texts conclude that society can only be maintained by upholding behavioral expectations through proper manners. However, the French Revolution acted as an inflection point within the genre, and—through the analysis of the polemic texts Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman—I argue that the French Revolution was domesticated in England, shifting the debate in England from a political argument to a moral argument. Therefore, I claim that the Gothic fiction of the late eighteenth-century—Matthew Lewis’s The Monk and Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian—investigates the fundamental stability of a society built on the morality of sentiment and sympathy rather than testing the merits of manners as a form of social control that was present in early Gothic fiction. By contextualizing the French Revolution as the catalyst for the thematic shift in Gothic fiction, I assert that through the investigation of manners, gender expectations, sentimentality, sympathy, and morality, the Gothic genre attempted to resolve the social and political anxieties that existed in England prior to and after the French Revolution.

 

English

Writer: Emma Swidler
Faculty Advisor: Timothy Spurgin
Topic: Bringing Austen Home: Austen's Reception Through the Lens of the Jane Austen House Museum and Chawton House
Summary:

 

 

Environmental Studies

Writer: Margot Wulfsberg
Faculty Advisor: Alyssa Hakes
Topic: An Overview of American Ginseng Through the Lens of Healing, Conservation, and Trade
Summary:

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is an herbaceous plant found in the eastern United States and Canada. Due to the high demand for ginseng roots on the Chinese market, it has been harvested at unsustainable rates. If this continues, overharvest along with other environmental factors will lead American ginseng to become extinct in the wild. American ginseng became popular due to its similarities with Asian ginseng, (Panax ginseng), a related plant that has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Since there is so little Asian ginseng left in the wild, American ginseng now helps satisfy the demand for wild roots. Due to differences in appearance, wild ginseng roots are highly prized over cultivated ginseng. Despite the establishment of the cultivated ginseng industry, the demand for wild roots remains high. As China’s middle and upper class grow, the demand for these expensive roots increases even more. Meanwhile, the poor economy of the Appalachian region leads people to harvest ginseng, legally or illegally, as a second source of income. Encouraging the use of wild-simulated ginseng may be one way to reduce the rate of harvest of wild roots.

 

Film Studies

Writer: Christina R. Schrage
Faculty Advisor: Amy Ongiri
Topic: Foreign Films in the Context of Hollywood: A Look into Adaptations and Remakes from Foreign Cinema
Summary:

Adaptations of novels is not an uncommon thing in the global cinema market, but what is it that Hollywood wishes to accomplish by adapting foreign films into their own language and context? This paper takes a look at the differences in Swedish, French, Argentine, and Korean cultural codes through the lenses of film narrative and how those codes are translated, or in some cases eradicated, from their Hollywood counterparts. This paper analyzes the films narrative, themes, and aesthetics, as well as the audience’s reception, to question whether Hollywood’s remake has added any new meaning to the film’s world, or if it is simply the Americanized version of a piece that already had a foothold in the global cinema market in an attempt to create a worldwide monopoly.

 

German

Writer: Sean Gies
Faculty Advisor: Brent Peterson
Topic: Emboldening American Activism: Informing Effective Political Dissent & Resistance by Deciphering the Strategic Logic, Mastering the Tactics, and Recognizing the Potency of Political Repression in America
Summary:

Do political repression campaigns in the United States follow a consistent playbook in deploying their tactics? If so, what are those tactics and how do they work? Upon close analysis of the FBI’s actions before and after the Church Commission’s investigations in 1971, it appears that the COINTELPRO method of repression hasn’t changed significantly. It’s evident that this method involves more prefatory tactics such as infiltration and surveillance that prepare for, enable, and inform repressive operation as well as the tactics that do the work of political repression. Of the more operative tactics which seek to apply repressive force onto their target organizations, there seem to be two general types: One which acts directly on the target to harm their ability to act as a political entity, and the other which does so indirectly through manipulation of other parties through disinformation. Understanding this, how can repressed political dissent groups respond to such repression? This project finds that some methods have already been found that can help resist effectively against repression, such as nonviolence and the use of infiltration against the repressive group. More importantly perhaps, this project proposes a way to prevent the harm wrought by indirect tactics of repression by building an internal apparatus for intelligence-gathering, patterned after intelligence agencies, into the institutional structure of the dissent organization. Such an apparatus could benefit resistance to every type of repressive tactic, as well as most other activities the dissent group may choose to participate in, making the costly venture of setting up such an apparatus a smart long-term investment for any dissent group at risk of repression which wishes to survive. Hopefully, this work will lead to further discussion on how the institutional structure of dissent organizations in America may be crafted to better resist political repression.

 

Government

Writer: Sean Gies
Faculty Advisor: Jason Brozek
Topic: Emboldening American Activism: Informing Effective Political Dissent & Resistance by Deciphering the Strategic Logic, Mastering the Tactics, and Recognizing the Potency of Political Repression in America
Summary:

Do political repression campaigns in the United States follow a consistent playbook in deploying their tactics? If so, what are those tactics and how do they work? Upon close analysis of the FBI’s actions before and after the Church Commission’s investigations in 1971, it appears that the COINTELPRO method of repression hasn’t changed significantly. It’s evident that this method involves more prefatory tactics such as infiltration and surveillance that prepare for, enable, and inform repressive operation as well as the tactics that do the work of political repression. Of the more operative tactics which seek to apply repressive force onto their target organizations, there seem to be two general types: One which acts directly on the target to harm their ability to act as a political entity, and the other which does so indirectly through manipulation of other parties through disinformation. Understanding this, how can repressed political dissent groups respond to such repression? This project finds that some methods have already been found that can help resist effectively against repression, such as nonviolence and the use of infiltration against the repressive group. More importantly perhaps, this project proposes a way to prevent the harm wrought by indirect tactics of repression by building an internal apparatus for intelligence-gathering, patterned after intelligence agencies, into the institutional structure of the dissent organization. Such an apparatus could benefit resistance to every type of repressive tactic, as well as most other activities the dissent group may choose to participate in, making the costly venture of setting up such an apparatus a smart long-term investment for any dissent group at risk of repression which wishes to survive. Hopefully, this work will lead to further discussion on how the institutional structure of dissent organizations in America may be crafted to better resist political repression.

 

Government

Writer: Miranda Salazar
Faculty Advisor: Jason Brozak
Topic: The Honor System: Investigation and Reformation
Summary:

 

 

Government

Writer: Hayoung Seo
Faculty Advisor: Ameya Balsekar
Topic: The Politics of Waste: A Look Inside the Lives of Local Wastepickers in Seoul.”
Summary:

This paper provides insight into the micropolitics of Korean elderly wastepickers who pursue a variety of economic or personal interests within an unfavorable formal regulatory environment. Drawing on primary source material and fieldwork in Seoul, Republic of Korea, this paper explores the historical marginalization of the informal wastepicking economy through collusion between the state and formal businesses in the decades since the Korean War, the social dimensions of the contemporary informal wastepicking economy, and various patterns of cooperation and conflict among informal actors. This paper aims to examine the informal wastepicking economy through ethnographic study, which adds a local perspective into the macro-level understanding of the formal and informal economies. By describing the interactions of three agents—the government, informal actors, and formal businesses—in the context of shifting global, national, and local constraints, it constructs a nuanced understanding of the informal economy by documenting the diverse experiences and motives of elderly wastepickers.

 

History

Writer: Elias B. Hubbard
Faculty Advisor: Edmund Kern
Topic: Cuckoldry and the "Gone for a Soldier" Narrative: Infidelity and Performance Among Eighteenth-Century English Plebians
Summary:

This project addresses existing historical arguments about the role of performance in eighteenth-century English plebeian infidelity cases, identifying some of the cultural scripts available to married men and women from popular texts in order to better understand cases of infidelity in contemporary plebeian marriages. The thesis seeks to clarify the effect of infidelity on a plebeian individual’s social standing and relationships, and to draw conclusions about the nature of plebeian infidelity, marriage, and gender in England through the long eighteenth century.

While examining contemporary public texts of cuckoldry, I address how homosocial behavior appears in narratives of cuckoldry, how the foundation of that behavior was misogynistic, and how cuckolded men found agency through performative rejection of these narratives. Turning to husbandly abandonment, I argue that abandoned plebeian wives deployed cultural scripts of subordination and dependence to their advantage, gaining some financial and social agency through performance.

 

History

Writer: Xiaoya Gao
Faculty Advisor: Brigid Vance
Topic: Female Health in Two Late Ming Novels
Summary:

 

 

History

Writer: Margot Wulfsberg
Faculty Advisor: Brigid Vance
Topic: An Overview of American Ginseng Through the Lens of Healing, Conservation, and Trade
Summary:

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is an herbaceous plant found in the eastern United States and Canada. Due to the high demand for ginseng roots on the Chinese market, it has been harvested at unsustainable rates. If this continues, overharvest along with other environmental factors will lead American ginseng to become extinct in the wild. American ginseng became popular due to its similarities with Asian ginseng, (Panax ginseng), a related plant that has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Since there is so little Asian ginseng left in the wild, American ginseng now helps satisfy the demand for wild roots. Due to differences in appearance, wild ginseng roots are highly prized over cultivated ginseng. Despite the establishment of the cultivated ginseng industry, the demand for wild roots remains high. As China’s middle and upper class grow, the demand for these expensive roots increases even more. Meanwhile, the poor economy of the Appalachian region leads people to harvest ginseng, legally or illegally, as a second source of income. Encouraging the use of wild-simulated ginseng may be one way to reduce the rate of harvest of wild roots.

 

Linguistic Anthropology

Writer: Mira Kwiecien
Faculty Advisor: Lavanya H. Murali
Topic: Popular Culture References: Their Influence on Language and Identity
Summary: My research examines popular culture references as they are used in daily conversation. Popular culture as I have examined it refers to anything in social media, TV, movies, books, music, etc. In this research, I use a combination of frameworks from sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and semiotics to examine the function of pop culture in a conversation and the effect it has on both the conversation itself and the speakers. My research has a few different goals. First, I posit that while pop culture can simultaneously be both mass mediated and highly individualized. Second, I posit that when pop culture references are used in conversation, they can affect the course of the conversation and influence the language used. Finally, I posit that when a speaker makes a pop culture reference, they are indexing a part of their own identity, while also attempting to establish a group identity.

 

 

Psychology

Writer: Caroline Swords
Faculty Advisor: Lori Hilt
Topic: Getting Stuck: Understanding the Perseverative Nature of Rumination with Facial EMG
Summary:

 

Rumination, the act of perseveratively dwelling on symptoms of distress and their possible causes and consequences, prolongs negative affect (Morrow & Nolen- Hoeksema, 1990) and predicts depression (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). Facial musculature has the ability to express and influence emotional experience (e.g., Magid et al., 2014). Based on the impaired disengagement hypothesis (Koster et al., 2011), I hypothesized that rumination would prolong negative affect and activity at a facial site commonly associated with negative affect (corrugator supercilii). I also expected a decrease in activity at muscle sites associated with positive affect (zygomaticus major and orbicularis oculi). Conversely, I hypothesized the opposite response during a distraction condition.

Participants were 41 college students recruited from a small Midwestern college (Mage = 19.4, 51% female). After a negative mood induction, participants experienced emotion-regulation inductions (rumination and distraction, counter balanced with a negative mood reminder in between). Participants completed mood ratings, and facial muscle activity was monitored with electromyography continuously.

Replicating past research, rumination prolonged negative affect, while distraction attenuated it, (e.g., Morrow & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1990). A MANOVA revealed a Muscle Site X Condition interaction. Follow-up analyses showed there were significant differences for the orbicularis oculi. Specifically, orbicularis activity significantly decreased during the negative mood induction and remained lower during rumination compared to distraction, suggesting that rumination may interfere with effective up-regulation of positive emotional experience. Results partially support the hypotheses and have implications for preventing depression.


Semiotics

Writer: Mira Kwiecien
Faculty Advisor: Lavanya H. Murali
Topic: Popular Culture References: Their Influence on Language and Identity
Summary: My research examines popular culture references as they are used in daily conversation. Popular culture as I have examined it refers to anything in social media, TV, movies, books, music, etc. In this research, I use a combination of frameworks from sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and semiotics to examine the function of pop culture in a conversation and the effect it has on both the conversation itself and the speakers. My research has a few different goals. First, I posit that while pop culture can simultaneously be both mass mediated and highly individualized. Second, I posit that when pop culture references are used in conversation, they can affect the course of the conversation and influence the language used. Finally, I posit that when a speaker makes a pop culture reference, they are indexing a part of their own identity, while also attempting to establish a group identity.

 

 

Sociolinguistics

Writer: Mira Kwiecien
Faculty Advisor: Lavanya H. Murali
Topic: Popular Culture References: Their Influence on Language and Identity
Summary: My research examines popular culture references as they are used in daily conversation. Popular culture as I have examined it refers to anything in social media, TV, movies, books, music, etc. In this research, I use a combination of frameworks from sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and semiotics to examine the function of pop culture in a conversation and the effect it has on both the conversation itself and the speakers. My research has a few different goals. First, I posit that while pop culture can simultaneously be both mass mediated and highly individualized. Second, I posit that when pop culture references are used in conversation, they can affect the course of the conversation and influence the language used. Finally, I posit that when a speaker makes a pop culture reference, they are indexing a part of their own identity, while also attempting to establish a group identity.

 

 

Spanish

Writer: Tessa Singer
Faculty Advisor: Thelma Jiménez-Anglada
Topic: Inaccessibility of Mental Health Care in the Latinx Community
Summary: